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India to send more medical aid to Sri Lanka


New Delhi : With thousands of Tamil civilians in war-torn Sri Lanka needing immediate medical care, India will soon be sending more medical aid to the island nation, an official said Monday.

An Indian Air Force transport aircraft will leave for Sri Lanka Friday carrying medical aid.

“An IL-76 aircraft carrying about 25 tonnes of medicines will leave for Colombo on May 22. This will be disbursed to the sick and wounded internally displaced people in northern Sri Lanka,” an Indian Air Force official said.

The Indian Army has already set up a fully equipped 50-bed hospital close to a camp for the displaced at Pulmodai, a town on Sri Lanka’s north-east coast. The army’s 60-member medical team comprising specialists, surgeons and paediatricians have treated over 3,000 people, mainly war wounded, trauma and fracture cases in the past two months since the hospital came up.

“Acting on a request from the Sri Lankan government, the Field Hospital will soon be shifted to Manik Farms in Vavuniya to widen the scope of the humanitarian assistance,” the official added.

A need was felt for including a gynaecologist in the team of doctors but experts said that since the Field Hospital lacks specialized medical equipment and support staff, this would not be feasible at the moment. A lady Medical Officer in the team was capable of handling routine problems related to women patients.

The Sri Lankan war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has resulted in the displacement of millions of people creating a humanitarian crisis of huge proportions.